France keeps its dancing bars open all night

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Discotheques across France can now stay open until 7:00 am under new regulations that business leaders said Monday would liven up Paris and other French cities.

The measure seeks to harmonise closing hours for bars across France and cut down the number of party goers who drive from one area to the next in search of a place to spend the night on the dance floor.

The new rules published in the government gazette at the weekend state that any establishment that serves alcohol and has a dance floor can now stay open until seven in the morning.

But last call will be at 5:30 am, allowing for a one-and-half-hour "dry period" when no alcohol will be served.

The Synhorcat trade group of bar owners described the new regulations as a "major victory that will help reduce the risk of road accidents from drunk driving across France."

"This harmonisation will discourage young people from getting behind the wheel of their cars to find a bar that is open," said Didier Chenet, president of Synhorcat.

"It will also make Paris and other French tourist destinations more dynamic especially since they were seen cities that shut down early compared to Berlin, London or Barcelona," he said.